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Massive Social Housing Build Required To Tackle NZ’s Human Rights Crisis

Political parties must, this election year, pledge to press forward with a massive build of “social” homes to tackle New Zealand’s human rights crisis in housing, a move that will also help reduce inequality, Peter Malcolm, spokesperson for the income equality project Closing the Gap, said today.

The depth of the housing crisis was highlighted this week by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Mr. Malcolm said, and in research showing cuts to state spending on social housing as the main cause of this emergency.

“The Special Rapporteur, Leilani Farha, rightly called New Zealand’s housing situation a human rights crisis, requiring a human rights response,” he said.

“And research by Kay Saville-Smith — reported in The New Zealand Herald — points directly at the culprit: the end to state-backed building of social housing,” Mr. Malcolm said.

While both experts point out that positive change is underway, including a major housing build, it’s clear the situation must be treated as the human rights crisis it is.

He said homelessness and unaffordable housing are a major driver of inequality in New Zealand, affecting every part of life, including health, education, crime, family well-being and much more, Mr. Malcolm said.

“We certainly endorse Leilani Farha’s call for measures like a capital gains tax, but in the more immediate term, the right and morally necessary action is a massive government funded social housing build.”

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Simon Wilson on the housing crisis: What governments did wrong. NZ Herald. (Paywalled)

UN Special Rapporteur on housing:

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